Pheochromocytoma: the symptoms

In 80% of cases, people who developed a pheochromocytoma develop the same symptom: hypertension (hypertension).

This occurs by sudden outbreaks that can last several tens of minutes. Their onset occurs for no particular reason, following physical exertion, digestion, change of position, physical trauma or emotion. The crises will be repeated in an unpredictable way and closer and closer during the evolution of the disease.

High blood pressure is not the only symptom. It is often associated with:

  • weight loss,
  • headaches,
  • palpitations,
  • sweats,
  • diabetes or
  • a drop in potassium levels in the blood (hypokalemia).

In younger people, let alone those who are not obese (body weight index> 25), evidence of type 2 diabetes may be suggestive of pheochromocytoma.

More rarely, and particularly in the asymptomatic forms of the disease, the diagnosis can be established during an acute cardiac decompensation, or even cardiac arrest (about 10% of diagnoses).

It is important not to overlook the symptoms and treat them as soon as possible, as they increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and may be life-threatening.

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